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Weeds funding round supports partnerships across land tenures

The Tasmanian Government’s $5 million Weeds Action Fund has announced 26 successful applicants for projects to be funded in its latest $200,000 small grants round.

The Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund is a Tasmanian Government initiative, funded for five years from 2018-19. The funds are invested by farmers and other community organisations to tackle weeds that are impacting valuable agricultural and environmental assets.

Supported projects range in value from $1,547 to $10,000 and are a particularly high standard.

Delivery partner, NRM North is delighted by the level of interest in the fund and the quality of submissions.  The competitive process received a total of 63 applications, indicating a strong appetite from the community to tackle weeds.

Weeds Action Fund Coordinator, Dr Raelene Mibus said that applications were received from a diverse range of candidates, such as local governments, businesses, private landholders, community groups, and catchment groups.   Many of the projects also represent broad partnerships of landholders working to collectively manage priority weeds.

“Weeds know no borders. Many of the successful projects demonstrate how working together is necessary to control weeds that span property boundaries and land tenures.”

“We are really pleased to see examples of neighbouring local governments working together. One project led by Central Coast Council brings the five north west Councils together to work collaboratively on the management of spanish heath across municipalities. It’s a great example of how the Weeds Action Fund is getting strategic outcomes,” said Dr Mibus.

Property owner Julian von Bibra is delighted to received a grant for weed management on his property near Epping Forest.  The project received funding because it is well planned and mapped, with a focus on agricultural and environmental benefits in a broader landscape context.

“As farmers we are often overwhelmed when faced with weed issues, particularly in our areas of high conservation and to be given outside support helps to motivate and enable farmers to be better stewards for future generations and the broader community.”

“We will be using the funds to implement the property-wide weed management program for the recently purchased ‘Somerset’. This will include eradicating saffron thistle, cotton thistle, horehound and gorse from areas of sown pasture. It’s also important for protecting the surrounding highly valued conservation areas,” said Mr von Bibra.

Somerset’s Environment Manager, Dr Kerry Bridle said the WAF money will help them to manage the existing weed burden, particularly thistles and gorse, that require on-going maintenance over several years.

“Approximately a third of the property is native vegetation, including a large conservation covenant containing native forests and grasslands and a freshwater wetland. Managing weeds in pastures and in native vegetation will increase the effective grazing area and improve conservation values, particularly in the native grasslands,” said Dr Bridle.

Following a robust, merit-based scoring and shortlisting process against the Weeds Action Fund criteria, the Chair of the fund, Ian Sauer is pleased by the community response and receptivity to the strategic and targeted focus that the fund has on tackling priority weeds.

“We are pleased with the suite of high-quality projects that have been identified for funding.  These projects demonstrate high levels of co-investment from project partners and a commitment to the shared responsibility for on-ground weed management. The projects are strategic and focus on targeted weed management, planning, and providing educational outcomes.”

“Quality applications articulated long-term management plans and provided co-investment, indicating a genuine and serious commitment to tackling weeds and getting outcomes over the long term,” said Mr Sauer.

Another grant round for multiyear, landscape scale projects for weed containment and eradication is currently being finalised for released this autumn. Visit www.nrmnorth.org.au to find out more and register your interest in future rounds.

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